The latest long-shot bid to break up California has launched amid complaints about excessive taxes and regulation.
A group seeking to carve out a breakaway state called New California issued a declaration of independence that asserted California’s existing government had “failed in their oath of office, obligations, and responsibilities as representatives of 'We the People' to provide a republican form of government”.
It accuses California politicians of “repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of a Tyranny over the Counties of New California”.
“After years of over taxation, regulation, and mono party politics the State of California and many of it’s 58 Counties have become ungovernable,” the group said in a press release.
“The nature of the State becoming ungovernable has caused a decline in essential basic services such as education, law enforcement, fire protection, transportation, housing, health care, taxation, voter rights, banking, state pension systems, prisons, state parks, water resource management, home ownership, infrastructure and many more,” it added.
The proposed 51st state would sprawl across California’s northern and inland counties, areas that tend to be more sparsely populated and conservative than the dense urban centres of the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.
Organisers are rallying county-level support before planning to take their case to the state Legislature, which would have to approve the new entity along with Congress. They’ll face an uphill fight to succeed where other would-be California separatists have failed.
Prospective founders of the so-called State of Jefferson, whose flags dot California’s vast and largely rural northern counties, have been pressing their cause for years. A recent effort to break California into six distinct states via a ballot initiative failed to qualify.